Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area

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 As of 10:30 4/18/21 Sam's Point parking FULL. Please seek alternate destinations. Roadside parking is prohibited, vehicles will be ticketed and towed.

Lake Minnewaska and Sam's Point are experiencing extensive congestion on good-weather days and both sites are subject to intermittent closures as parking lots reach capacity. Please respect our neighbors and surrounding communities: DO NOT park on adjacent roadway shoulders. Alternative destinations can be searched at https://parks.ny.gov/parks/ and at https://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/82098.html

Park Opens at 9 am and closes at 8 pm

The following trail is CLOSED: Ice Caves Trail 

Sam's Point is closed to all buses until further notice. Groups are limited to 15 people maximum.

Click here for real time weather from the Sam's Point Weather Station.

Parking at the Sam's Point Area often fills to capacity by 11am and closes to incoming visitors and traffic. Closure updates will be posted here and on the New York State Park's homepage. For real-time traffic updates visit: https://www.511ny.org/#:Alerts.

Address
400 Sam’s Point Road
Cragsmoor, NY 12420

The Sam's Point Preserve, located on the highest section of the Shawangunk Mountains, is the most southerly section of Minnewaska State Park Preserve. The area comprises approximately 5,000 acres, and contains a globally rare community of high altitude pitch pine barrens. The pitch pine barrens, and the matrix of chestnut oak forest that surrounds them, provide habitat for abundant flora and fauna, both rare and common.

Sam's Point contains a bounty of natural splendor. It is home to Lake Maratanza, one of the five Shawangunk sky lakes; ice cave crevices that you can explore; cliffs and numerous scenic vistas. Verkeerder Kill Falls, is a spectacular 187 foot high waterfall located on private property, please respect the use of private property and remain on the trail.

In order to protect both the visitor experience, and the unique ecosystem, Sam's Point has a small parking facility. Visitors should plan to arrive early, or visit at non-peak times, in order to obtain entry.

For more information, and to register for public programs, call the Sam's Point Visitor Center at (845) 647-7989. Sam's Point opens at 9:00 am and closing times vary throughout the year. The vehicle use fee is $10 per car. The vehicle use fee, as well as gift shop items and snowshoe rentals, can be paid for by credit card, cash or check. Please note the parking area fills early. Please call the park office to ensure parking is available prior to your arrival. There are no additional fees for public programs, unless otherwise noted.

Sam's Point Preserve is located 2.8 miles off State Route 52 in the historic hamlet of Cragsmoor, New York. Please drive slowly, and quietly, through the hamlet, so that you may enjoy and preserve the tranquil nature that inspired the Hudson River School painters who summered here.

To explore the neighboring Minnewaska State Park Preserve, please visit their calendar of events.

School Group Environmental Education Programs

Dogs must be on a six foot, or shorter, leash.

Mailing Address
P.O Box 86Cragsmoor, NY 12420

Hours of Operation

  • Open Year round, current hours of Operation are 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., hours will change seasonally.

Fees & Rates

Most New York State Parks charge a vehicle use fee to enter the facility. Fees vary by location and season. A list of entry fees and other park use fees is available below. For fees not listed or to verify information, please contact the park directly.

The easy-to-use Empire Pass card is $80- and your key to all-season enjoyment with unlimited day-use entry at most facilities operated by State Parks and the State Dept. of Environmental Conservation including forests, beaches, trails and more. Purchase online or contact your favorite park for more information. Learn more about our Admission Programs including the Empire Pass.

  • Vehicle Entrance Fee
  • $10 per vehicle

    Bus Permits:
    Bus permits (non-profit): $60
    Bus permits (commercial): $100

  • Snowshoe Rental
  • $15/day - Adult,
    $14/day - 17 and under

Key BCA Criteria:

  • Migratory concentration site
  • Diverse species concentration site
  • Species at risk site
  • Bird research site

The Minnewaska BCA is located within the Minnewaska State Park Preserve. The Preserve is located on the Shawangunk Mountain ridge, which rises more than 2,000 feet above sea level. The Minnewaska BCA has many spectacular rock formations, soaring precipices, windswept ledges with pine barrens, fast-flowing mountain streams, mountain lakes and several scenic waterfalls. The BCA is especially important for its unfragmented forest, which supports a high diversity of forest-dwelling bird species, and for its partnership with researches studying birds and their habitats. The Nature Conservancy has designated the entire ridge as one of the "Last Great Places." The Shawangunks, including Minnewaska, are one of the highest priority areas for biodiversity conservation in the northeastern United States. The Minnewaska BCA is part of the Northern Shawangunk Mountains Important Bird Area.

Minnewaska is part of a migratory corridor that exists along the entire upland plateau of the Northern Shawangunks. It is an exceptional example of a characteristic higher elevation forest community with a high diversity of forest dwelling species. The BCA includes birds of forest habitat including breeding Northern Saw-whet Owl, Black-and-white Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Canada Warbler, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Northern Flicker and Scarlet Tanager; and breeding shrub/scrub species Eastern Towhee, Field Sparrow, Gray Catbird, Indigo Bunting and Prairie Warbler. Species at risk include a pair of Peregrine Falcons (Endangered) that nest on the cliff face. Download a copy of the BCA map.

Deer hunting is allowed in specific sections of the park during hunting season. Minnewaska's hunting dates coincide with the NYS DEC hunting dates. Bow, rifle/shotgun/pistol and muzzle loader hunting is permitted. 

Anyone interested in hunting on Minnewaska State Park Preserve lands must get a free hunting permit. Permits for the Sam's Point Area of Minnewaska State Park Preserve can be obtained by the following methods: stopping by the Sam's Point Visitor Center (between 9:00 am and 4:30 pm, 7 days a week) and completing the application, or filling out the permit application found under the attachments tab and emailing it to Terri.McNeil@parks.ny.gov. If you submit the application electronically, your permit will be sent to you via email. 

All hunters must have purchased their hunting licenses first because back tag numbers will be needed for the permit application. After hunting season ends, all hunters will be sent a questionnaire to complete and send back to the park by the 15th of January.   

Hunting Maps

Thu 01 Apr
Sam’s Point Gallery Spotlight – “Lichens of the Shawangunk Mountains”
Thursday, April 1, 2021 until Friday, April 30, 2021
Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area
Come see the incredible lichen display designed by John Franklin, lichen photographer and Department of Environmental Conservation Steward, at our new exhibit at the Sam's Point Visitors Center. Lichens are the intrepid little organisms that we see everywhere we look. They grow on the rocks and trees around us, and often underfoot, as we walk the many trails in the Park Preserve. View John's collection of amazing, close-up, macro photographs and see actual samples of some of the wonderful and colorful lichens that are found throughout Minnewaska State Park Preserve. This photo exhibit will give you a first-hand look at the incredible beauty and complexity of these simple, and often colorful, organisms. Don't miss out on this great opportunity to learn about Shawangunk lichens. Pre-registration is NOT required.
Thu 22 Apr
Drop in Earth Day Celebration at Sam’s Point
Thursday, April 22, 2021 10:00 AM - 02:00 PM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area
Join Sam's Point staff in appreciating our Earth and learning how we can make our planet a better place. Drop-in to a staffed, education station to learn all about pollinator gardens, play a nature-based scavenger hunt and much more! Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian over the age of 18. All participants must wear face coverings or keep a minimum of six-foot distance away from others who are not part of their immediate household. Pre-registration is NOT required.
Sat 24 Apr
Lichens of the Shawangunk Mountains at Sam’s Point
Saturday, April 24, 2021 10:00 AM - 01:00 PM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area
(845) 647-7989

Join lichen photographer and Department of Environmental Conservation Steward, John Franklin, for a walk and talk on lichens, those intrepid little organisms that we see growing on trees and rocks throughout the Park Preserve. We will walk up to two miles, stopping to discuss lichens along the way. After the hike, John will share his collection of amazing close-up macro photographs of lichens and also actual samples of the colorful lichens that are found throughout the Park Preserve. The recommended age for children wishing to attend this program is 12. All children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian over the age of 18. Due to COVID protocols, the total number of participants for this program is limited to fifteen individuals. All participants must wear face coverings or keep a minimum six-foot distance away from others who are not part of their immediate household.  Meet at the Sam's Point Visitor Center. This hike will be offered again in May. Pre-registration is required by calling Sam's Point at 845-647-7989. The rain date for this program is Sunday April 25th, 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Registration: Required
Wed 28 Apr
Herp Herp Hooray! Amphibian Spotting and Monitoring Hike at Sam’s Point
Wednesday, April 28, 2021 11:00 AM - 03:00 PM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area
(845) 647-7989

In early spring, massive numbers of frogs and salamanders travel far distances to lay their eggs in seasonal bodies of fresh water, known as vernal pools. Join Alexa Maione, Student Conservation Association/AmeriCorps Education Assistant, for a hike to a vernal pool breeding spot to monitor for salamanders, frogs and eggs. This five-mile interpretive hike is recommended for children over the age of 12 and who want to learn about hands-on, ecological monitoring and local amphibian species. Please bring a lunch, water, and shoes you don't mind getting wet or dirty. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian over the age of 18. Due to COVID protocols, the total number of participants for this program is limited to fifteen individuals. All participants must wear face coverings or keep a minimum six-foot distance away from others who are not part of your immediate household. Meet at the Sam's Point Visitor Center. Pre-registration is required by calling Sam's Point at 845-647-7989.
Registration: Required
Sat 01 May
I Love My Park Day: Movin’ Rocks on the Verkeerderkill Falls Footpath at Sam’s Point
Saturday, May 1, 2021 10:00 AM - 04:00 PM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area
(845) 647-7989

This well-loved trail needs some repairs! As a popular destination, hundreds of hikers have worn down and widened this trail, exposing rocks and creating an uneven trail surface. For this project, we will move rocks out of the treadway, making the foot bed of the trail more stable. A comfortable and easy-to-navigate trail encourages hikers to remain on it, reducing the likelihood of fragile plants along the edges getting trampled. Volunteers should bring water, snacks and lunch. Safety glasses and work gloves will be provided, but please bring them if you have your own. Please be sure to wear appropriate footwear for the trail (sturdy hiking or work boots) and long pants. Lunch will be eaten out on the trail. We will break into two groups of ten people to ensure that social distancing is adequate. This volunteer opportunity is appropriate for adults and children who are at least thirteen years old, accompanied by a parent or guardian over the age of 18. Due to COVID protocols, the total number of participants for this program is limited to 20 individuals. All participants must wear face coverings or keep a minimum of six-foot distance away from others who are not part of their immediate household. For more information, call the Sam's Point Visitor Center at 845-647-7989. Pre-registration is required by visiting: www.ptny.org/ilovemypark.
Registration: Required

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Amenities Information

  • Amenities
  • Gift Shop
  • Hiking
  • Hunting
  • Snowshoeing/X-Country Skiing
  • Visitor Center